EM Field Exposure

Ofcom have written to all licence holders advising them of changes to the Wireless Telegraphy Act licences requiring all spectrum users (including all radio amateurs) to comply with the ICNIRP general public limits on EMF exposure. The proposed change can be found in a statement summarising Ofcom’s position after the two consultations. The licence change will be implemented by 18 May 2021. If you have any questions about the changes please address them, before 16 April 2021, to Ofcom via the online form Make a representation—more information on their web page ofcom.org.uk/emf.

Guidance: Ofcom has also published information about assessment and record keeping:-

Earlier, Ofcom published a summary of all Amateur Responses to their consultations together with each of the individual responses. You can see that changes were made to original proposals after the responses from individual amateurs and the RSGB.

We are working through the large number of questions raised by Members as quickly as we can.

You can find the complex ICNIRP 2020 Guidelines here.

We continue to prepare specific guidance to help radio amateurs to assess compliance and keep the necessary records. This advice will be published via this page once it is completed and reviewed.

Technical Assistance: 

We thank you for feedback received, we have incorporated a number of your ideas in the current version. This calculator will be updated to use exposure limits based on ICNIRP 2020 reference levels. Once validated we plan to supply it as a web based calculator.

EMF Teamwork: RSGB/ARRL volunteers are using advanced computer modelling to better estimate RF exposure particularly close to antenna elements and/or close to ground. This will help assess compliance when a simple calculator is too conservative.

The data will be analysed to :

  • Identify pre-assessed ‘compliant by design’ configurations that need no further assessment (only record-keeping)
  • Establish compliant zones showing the maximum transmit power for compliance at a given location relative to the antenna
  • Provide practical guidance on mitigation measures such as ensuring no-one is present in a non-compliant location before transmitting

RSGB plans to extend the current guidance on good ‘RF housekeeping’ for managing EMC issues to include good practice for compliance with EMF exposure limits. We also plan additional training and amendments to the examination syllabus.


Earlier Documents/Information:

  • Ofcom’s second EMF consultation (Oct-Nov 2020). 
  • RSGB response including detailed comments and suggested amendments to the second EMF consultation.
  • RSGB EMF Update (2-page PDF, Nov-2020)
  • EMF-Consultation: RSGB Response (16-page PDF, Jun-2020) – Our detailed response to the original February Consultation stated that we appreciate the need for the ICNIRP guidelines but cannot support the proposals from Ofcom that are onerous. RSGB suggested a more appropriate change to the existing amateur licence conditions referencing the 2020 ICNIRP Guidelines. The RSGB also indicated it will prepare its own guidance and training to help amateurs follow these ICNIRP guidelines.
  • EMF-Consultation: RSGB Response Guide (3-page PDF, May 2020)  – The RSGB prepared a guide outlining some of the points individual radio amateurs may wish to include in their own response. Ofcom indicated in their October-2020 Statement that around 240 inputs were received from individual amateurs.
  • Ofcom: EMF FAQ (PDF, Apr-2020) – This was released to clarify a number issues, including the release in March of the latest ICNIRP 2020 guidelines.
  • Ofcom: EMF Consultation-1 – Feb-2020 – The initial consultation was released in February 2020, with a deadline that was subsequently extended to June 2020


Info & Links: